Figures in Landscape No. 3 2013 Oil on Linen 900 x 600mm $2100
Figures in Landscape is a central theme of my painting even though the series is only up to number 4. See my story “Trees” for the story behind the beginning of this series. These squiggly gums are growing on a ridge that forms the boundary of the Wollemi National Park in the Hawkesbury. The location had been burnt out in a backburn operation. I started painting the week following. After ten weeks of painting on site the trees were all covered in fire recovery growth. It looked very different.
Figures are metaphors for human presence.
Like the Burghers of Calais these trees show character and strength. These gums scared from countless fires- probably most being backburns bring with them some stark sculptural elements. Wonderful positive and negative shapes highlighted by the burnt black against the white trunks. The bark peeled after it was dried in the the burn and it shed. It is now on the forest floor unburnt. Like the shedding of sunburn, to reveal the soft new skin below.